Southwest Health System has purchased a 2017 F350 ambulance to its Emergency Medical Services fleet.
Built by Braun Northwest in Chehalis, Washington, the new ambulance is known for its safety features, benefiting occupants and medical providers.
The vehicle features military-grade suspension and a forward-looking infrared camera, which helps emergency medical personnel identify animals and pedestrians at night. The FLIR technology can provide cost savings by avoiding dangerous encounters at night.
The vehicle was purchased using the provider grant awarded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which that EMS Chief Matt Lindsay applied for in 2016.
The grant also paid for a second ambulance, which is expected to arrive in Cortez in the fall. That ambulance is currently being displayed around the Northwest because of its high level of innovation.
According to a news release from Southwest Health, the different color scheme on the new ambulance and the van ambulance that arrived earlier this year is a nod to the original orange and white ambulance color schemes. The charcoal body color was featured in an EMS show in Las Vegas.
Lindsay and EMS supervisor Scott Anderson wanted to bring the classic orange accents with a new twist back to Cortez.
Southwest Health EMS operates six ambulances in Cortez, Dolores and Mancos and covers about 2,800 square miles. They run approximately 3,000 calls per year, Southwest Health said,which has increased significantly over the past five years.
Southwest Health also has a paramedic program, provides long-distance transport service and an accredited EMS training center.